Friday isn’t my Friday

So it’s Friday. Yay? Most people are excited for it. They go home, they enjoy a weekend, or dread getting into a fight of some sort. Me, it’s just another day, just like Valentine’s day, almost like my Birthdays now. I work tomorrow, while I have Sunday off. I figure it’d be best to spend the weekend with my father since it’s the first weekend my brother would be around. Pretty much just a “It’s too quiet at home if I’m gone,” thing.

I just had a conversation with my boss about Age of Conan. I am really skeptical about it’s launch. With every other individual MMORG I hear of, they are pretty much all plagued with issues ranging from hardware problems, latency, gameplay bugs, and overall just a buggy as hell client. The result makes me wonder why a new player should pay a full PC price of $50 USD for a game that will (start off as) a buggy client. World of Warcraft wasn’t perfect, hell I remember hearing and reading about Blizzard giving away days of time because of inconsistent or offline server clusters.

The argument from my boss is that the whole point of charging $50 at the startup is to recoup costs. Fine and dandy, but at the same point let’s compare it to other genres of games. What would happen to a game that is constantly plagued with hardware incompatibilities, latency issues, and unstable clients? That game would be crap, and widely regarded as such. It wouldn’t stay on the shelves for more than a week let alone sell decently. So why is it that MMOs can get away with releasing an incomplete product while charging the full price to play it, and then turning around a month later and shanking you for another $15.

I fully understand why there’s a monthly cost, it helps maintain the servers and help pay for expansion work and the like, (see CCP’s EvE Online). It’s important as Bandwidth is a recurring cost.

StardockDevelopment for a games basically work as a major investment of a large budget (or small budget if you are an awesome group like Stardock), with the hopes of paying it off and making a little more for yourself while generating positive reviews and reputation for your company. It seems like MMOs get to push that off a bit with a “We’re working on it” mentality.

It’s a big problem with PC games these days. A developer, either because of their publisher or running out of money, is pushed to release a game early (for example, Derek Smart’s Battlecruiser 3000) filled with bugs and failures that would have been dealt with if the game were released on time. However, with the penetration of broadband, and accessibility, we end up with more and more companies saying “Release it, and we’ll patch it later.” One of these things I vaguely remember was when I bought a PC title on it’s release date for the full $50 only to find that it wouldn’t work on my laptop because of some bug that I researched on the net. Afterwards, I found that there was a patch released the day before release to fix this specific problem, and it did work. (The game was total crap though.)

This is unacceptable, especially when there are more and more auto-updaters being included with single-player and multiplayer games that don’t give you a choice of updating. (Steam being the biggest frustration with this.) Even worse is that games are starting to end up with DRM that requires authentication at every patch, update, or download of DLC. The DRM then actually gives publishers a reason to “accidentally” leave something out in order to force people to authenticate itself a second time instead of relying on the first auth.

ur perception

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One Response to “Friday isn’t my Friday”

  1. […] Original post by Freyar’s Weblog […]

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